More than Skill and Drill

Exploring the Potential of Computers in Decoding and Fluency Instruction

Authored by: Melanie R. Kuhn , Steven A. Stahl

International Handbook of Literacy and Technology

Print publication date:  April  2006
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780805850871
eBook ISBN: 9780203929131
Adobe ISBN: 9781135609580


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Given the number of concepts students in the primary classroom need to develop, it may seem excessive to argue that computers should be part of the literacy curriculum. And when looking at many of the computer programs that are available for home use, it may even seem as if technology is fine for games, but that it is not an effective use of children’s time in terms of literacy learning. However, computers have significant potential to assist students with both their word recognition and their fluency development in ways that can complement traditional print based materials (e.g., Labbo & Kuhn, 2000; Merrow, 2001; Reinking, 1998). Indeed, computers have the capacity to become an important part of reading instruction in the primary grades. It is the goal of this chapter to discuss this potential by identifying unique and effective ways in which computers can be used within the classroom in order to become an integral part of the literacy curriculum.

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